Collaborative pianists in South Africa: comparative & practice-based perspectives with reference to musical theatre

De Koker, Jessica (2019-04)

Thesis (MMus)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There is a paucity of academic literature on the nature of collaborative pianism in musical theatre. The existing literature on musical theatre concentrates on defining the characteristics of the genre, the various composers who occupy the musical theatre canon, the different stylistic qualities indicative of certain decades, and methods of composition. Where the literature falls short, is in documenting the role and responsibilities of the collaborative pianist (also known as the rehearsal pianist). A possible reason for this gap in the literature is a lack of commitment and impetus to train répétiteurs for the opera and musical theatre genres specifically. In the South African context, this problem is exacerbated by the absence of a collaborative piano course with the purpose of producing répétiteurs for opera or musical theatre. Currently, specialization in the musical theatre genre is reserved for singers, dancers, and actors. The training of collaborative pianists, integral to the process of rehearsal and performance, has fallen by the wayside. This thesis addresses the gap and offers concrete suggestions towards the integration of collaborative pianism into postgraduate training. Due to the highly specialized nature of this type of employment, interviews with industry professionals were conducted as a means of determining the skills and qualifications collaborative pianists have in common. In addition, various sources of literature covering didactics, education policy, curriculum reform, demands of musical theatre employment and its inner-workings, all provide a theoretical basis from which to engage topics revealed by the interviewees. This study considers the education shortfalls that exist and suggests how these hurdles can be overcome through the restructuring of a postgraduate Honours course and internship opportunities. Given the commercial success of musical theatre in South Africa, ignoring the need for collaborative pianists in this lucrative sector of the music industry would be a mistake.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die literatuur oor samewerkende pianisme in musiekteater is gebrekkig. Die bestaande literatuur oor musiekteater fokus op die definisie van die genre se eienskappe, die komponiste wat die musiekteaterkanon beset, hoe stylkenmerke oor tyd heen verander en op komposisiemetodes. Die literatuur dokumenteer egter nie die rol en verantwoordelikhede van die samewerkende pianis (ook bekend as die repetisiepianis) nie. ‘n Moontlike rede vir die gaping in die vakliteratuur is die feit dat die noodsaak om samewerkende pianiste vir die opera- en musiekteatergenres op te lei dikwels nie raakgesien word nie en dat sodanige opleiding nie institusioneel ondersteun word nie. In Suid-Afrika is daar tans geen klavierkursus wat ten doel het om répétiteurs vir opera of musiekteater op te lei nie. Spesialisering in musiekteater is slegs beskikbaar vir sangers, dansers en akteurs. Die opleiding van samewerkende pianiste, wat ‘n integrale rol in repetisies en uitvoerings speel, is tot nou toe bloot oor die hoof gesien. Hierdie tesis spreek die gaping in die vakletterkunde aan en bied konkrete voorstelle vir die ontwikkeling van ‘n nagraadse kursus in samewerkende pianisme. As gevolg van die hoogs gespesialiseerde aard van hierdie tipe werk, is onderhoude gevoer met professionele beroepslui as 'n manier om die vaardighede en kwalifikasies wat hierdie musikante gemeen het, te bepaal. Daarbenewens bied die literatuur wat handel oor didaktiek, onderwysbeleid, kurrikulumhervorming en die praktyk van musikale teaterwerk en die eise wat dit aan musici stel 'n teoretiese basis vir die bespreking van onderwerpe uit die onderhoude. Hierdie studie ondersoek die gebrek aan gespesialiseerde opleiding vir samewerkende pianiste en dui aan hoe bepaalde struikelblokke uit die weg geruim kan word deur die herstrukturering van 'n nagraadse honneurskursus en internskapgeleenthede. Gegewe die kommersiële sukses van musiekteater in Suid-Afrika, sou dit 'n fout wees om die behoefte aan samewerkende pianiste in hierdie winsgewende sektor van die musiekbedryf te ignoreer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105780
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